Overweight and Beautiful: Is a Positive Body Image Dangerous When You’re Overweight?
There are many overweight people who aren’t bothered by their weight in the slightest. They’re attractive, confident and never let their weight hold them back from doing the things in life they wanted to do. They’re happy and outgoing. Their self-esteem is quite high.
You have to admire people with that kind of mental picture of themselves - with the ability to see how wonderful they are. But the truth is, being overweight, no matter how we picture ourselves, isn’t healthy. Don’t get me wrong! It’s great to not allow negativity to invade how we view our bodies. You know the refrain: “Oh, I’m too fat; I can’t find clothes that fit; I hate the way I look in a mirror.” There’s a difference between having a good self image and accepting our body weight—or resigning ourselves to it.
We don’t have to feed ourselves negative thoughts about our body size, but we do have to be realistic about what goes on when we are overweight. There’s nothing wrong with being positive about our bodies and striving to be the best we can be. But just because someone has a positive mental perception of their body doesn’t always mean it’s physically good for them to be that way.
Being overweight doesn’t have to equal unattractive or miserable. Making sure we take care of our appearance as far as buying clothes that don’t look like mini-tents nor have flowers on them the size of compact cars is fine and we should take care with how we dress.
Women aren’t the only ones who can have a positive self-image but aren’t necessarily aware of the risks involved if the extra weight isn’t dealt with. Men fall into this category as well. They can be happy, successful, great dressers yet not face what’s going on inside their bodies.
Looking good is important no matter what size you are, no matter whether or not you’re a man or a woman. You can feel great and look great, but there is a side to positive self image that you should be aware of.
The problem starts when we get comfortable with being overweight, happy with our self image to the point that we’ll ignore the dangers to our health. You can still be happy with your body regardless of what shape you’re in. What you have to do is understand what that shape can do to you.
Carrying around more weight than you should have means having a higher BMI. When you’re overweight, no matter how positive you are, you have a higher BMI and this means you’re at greater risk for certain diseases and conditions that can affect the quality of your life and even take it away from you.
So, while you should have a positive body image, be aware that being overweight/obese does carry certain risks. You can still love your body the way it is and love it back by giving it nutritious food and make it stronger through exercise—and live a longer life by losing body fat (especially belly fat!).